An IPS Officer with a Poet’s Heart
- Bhakti Kothari
- Published on 21 Jul 2021, 9:21 am IST
- 5 minutes read
Here is a police officer-cum-poet. IPS officer D C Rajappa not only served the country with distinction, he has written hundreds of poems which continue to enthrall the people of Karnataka and beyond.
- Mr. D.C. Rajappa, retired IPS officer
Imagining a police officer conjures up the picture of a man with a stern look and a coarse voice in a khaki uniform, also yielding a gun and giving the impression that if the need arose, he would not hesitate to use it. Often, one stern look from him would scare away most people. Now imagine a police officer with a pen, somebody who writes poetry and talks about love and brotherhood.
The second kind of cop may be hard to imagine. But he exists in flesh and blood: in the form of DC Rajappa, who retired only last year. Today Mr. Rajappa is known more for the scintillating books on Kannada poems he wrote over the years while in service than the number of prisoners he might have sent behind bars.
A renowned Kannada poet, Mr. Rajappa believes that empathy is the guiding force for both poets and policemen. In an exclusive conversation with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Rajappa opens up about his stories from the service, the inspiration behind his poetries, and also his new venture.
Budding poet since Childhood
Mr. Rajappa’s love for poetry bloomed when he was a mere teenager. He wrote his first poem at the age of 15, in Kannada. “I read a poem titled Karisidda by a very well-known Kannada poet, Kuvempu, who has also received awards for his poems in 1968. I started enjoying poetries since then.” His early work came out so well that his mother and teachers urged him to write more.
Jotting real-life experiences into verses
Poets usually take inspiration from nature or tangible objects to write their poetry, but such was not the case with Mr. Rajappa. The police officer’s poems are largely based on his own experiences, things he went through in real life while serving the nation. He took inspiration from various events that unfolded before his eyes. For instance, he recalled, his initial poems grew from the impressions he gathered in his village. He observed that several superstitions were rooted in everyone’s mind. One such superstition consisted of animal sacrifice to Gods.
“I wrote a poem on a practice called Maari where animals are sacrificed to the evil goddess Maaramma, to fulfill her appetite. Due to this practice, a number of animals were butchered in my village. But after my poem, the villagers stopped the practice.”
The incident that stirred him
An incident that shook Mr. Rajappa from inside happened when, as the Superintendent of Police in Gulbarga district, he had to go on an accident scene where 14 people had lost their lives. What he witnessed left him emotionally scarred. He recalls, “I had managed to separate 12 dead bodies already when I encountered the last two. It was of a nine-month-old baby suckling his mother’s breast at the time of death. The sight of milk spilling out from the baby’s mouth disturbed me to my core. Not being able to take out the horrible incident from my mind, I wrote a poem called Saavu Mathu Sambrama (meaning Celebration of Death)” The poem brings forth the “irony of death’’, in the sense it does not come to those calling for it but reaches out to those who never wished for it.
Mr. Rajappa has written numerous other poems from various experiences he gained while working in the service.
Publishing his passion
Over the years, Mr. Rajappa has not just written poetries but also published them into books. He has a collection of four books, consisting of more than 500 poems, to his credit. These are titled Maari, Baradu Bhoomiya Sathyagalu, Hullu Meyuva Kudure, and Samavasthradolagondu sutthu (vol. 1, 2, 3, 4)
Mr. Rajappa is also the receiver of various awards such as the Amma award, Basava award, and Rajyashree award. He has also inspired hundreds of other police officers to pursue their creative passion and write poetry.
“The Karnataka police force has around one lakh officers, out of which more than 500 have started writing their experiences through poems! I have collected all these poems and edited them. I have been doing this work for 20 years.” said Mr. Rajappa.
Moving towards a new venture
After his retirement, Mr. Rajappa has started an in-house publication of a monthly magazine called ‘Police Lahari’. Through this magazine, Mr. Rajappa is providing all the police officials of the country with a platform to showcase their talent and passion. This has been done for the first time in the history of the Karnataka Police.
“It will be a common platform from constable to DGPs to write poems and articles. There are several magazines and newspapers that give the opportunity to only the senior officials. If they would write something, they will publish it but nobody gives any opportunity to a lower grade constable. That’s why I launched the magazine and now everyone has an equal chance of getting their work published,” says Mr. Rajappa.
One doesn’t come across cop-cum-poet like Mr. Rajappa, too often. He is a one-of-a-kind person who can make the country better, through his words.
Indian Masterminds wishes Mr. Rajappa the best for all his future endeavors!
END OF THE ARTICLE